Demons and Wizards – Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver – 21st August 2019

Wednesday night was s special one at the Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver.  Three bands were making their first appearance at the venue. Tyr opened the proceedings with their unique blend of Faroese folk metal. Next up on the bill it was a return to full on 80 theatrics with Lizzy Borden talking the stage.  Headlining tonight were Demons and Wizards.

Despite being formed in 1999, Demons and Wizards have never toured in North America, so I was very excited to see the band here in Vancouver. Conceived as a side-project by vocalist Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) and guitarist Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth), the band have released a couple of albums since their creation.  The self-titled Demons and Wizards we released in 2000, followed by Touched by the Crimson King in 2005.  Having recently signed to Century Media Records the band are working on a highly anticipated third album tentatively scheduled for release in early 2020

The band played plenty from both albums much to their fans delight, as well as songs from both Iced Earth and Blind Guardian thrown into the mix.

With the gravestone littered stage bathed in a soft blue light the opening bars of Rites of Passage rung out and it was time for some fun. The band wasted no time at all diving straight into the first couple of songs from their debut album.  The epic epoch Heaven Denies, followed up by a pounding rendition of Poor Man’s Crusade were followed up with Crimson King which was just enough to get the crowd into a surfing mood.  By the time we hot the change of pace with Iced Earth Burning Times, followed by Welcome to Dying there was s regular stream of bodies going over the barrier.

No one can blame the fans for being excited, they were only reflecting the excitement of the band who were clearly loving their first ever Canadian outing, with Hansi Kürsch hardly able to contain a smile through much of the performance.

A great performance to end an entertaining night, and hopefully it will not be the last time that the band visit our shores.

Photos: Stewart Johnstone